Three years ago, Maryam Zadeh had a dream of opening her own workout studio where she could teach small group classes focusing on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry now.
"One day when I was walking home from the gym, I noticed a storefront open and I thought it was perfect, so I snagged it," says Zadeh. "I had enough money from the inheritance from my grandmother for the first and last month's rent and my growing clientele kept the business going. But I got to the point where I had so many clients that there wasn't enough time in the day to train everyone."
Business started booming. It was all she could do to keep up with the growing demand for HIIT classes from all around the Brooklyn neighborhood she had chosen. After eight months, she had to start renting space at other locations just to meet demand. In the end, Maryam had to start doubling, tripling and then quadrupling classes to keep up - forming small group classes instead of just the individual training sessions she was used to.
It was clear she needed more space. But finding a new location was hard - especially since 69% of her current clientele said that they wouldn't continue their membership if it wasn't within a two-block radius of the current location. After visiting more than 60 storefronts, she fell in love with a recently closed martial arts studio just two blocks away.
One of the best parts of the studio was the rent - only $600 more per month than her current studio! The new space will allow her to double (even triple) her current client list of over 2,400 people.
But there was a problem. In the fast-paced New York City leasing market she needed cash on hand to close a new lease, and she needed it fast. Locations like the one she had found don't stay on the market for more than a couple weeks.
All she needed to make it happen was $12,000 after she was able to crowdfund $3,000 from a few of her top clients.
"I had working and growing capital, but I needed gap financing for the first three months' rent," said Zadeh. "Peer-to-peer loans didn't work; my credit card processor wouldn't negotiate a deal; small community banks wouldn't take me on despite my solid numbers and 30% growth. I continued to get the door slammed in my face."
She considered bringing on investors, but it was too much to ask friends and family, and one investor wanted 45% of her company for the investment. As a mom-and-pop shop owner, she never considered giving up so much of her company.
Luckily, Maryam was referred to Biz2Credit by a friend and worked with Joseph Savo as her case manager. After submitting the easy online application and speaking with Joe about her urgent situation, she had a deal by the end of the next business day and was funded the following Monday.
Just like working out, Maryam expected fast, efficient results and that's exactly what she received! "Biz2Credit saved the day and 48 hours later, I had the keys to my new fitness studio in my hand," said Zadeh. "I don't know how Joe did what he did for me, but I'm thankful for his help. He even got me an easy repayment schedule."
After receiving the keys, Zadeh pulled up her sleeves and started renovations.
When discussing advice for other small business owners who are looking for financing, she says not to give up. You'll get turned down by 100 people but that 101st person will make it worth it.
"If you can't be persistent in getting funding, you won't make it. I approached 12-15 people and was turned down for the $15,000," said Zadeh. "I didn't take no for an answer and you shouldn't either. There's always a way. There's a lot of funding out there and you just need to find it and be creative."
Maryam is excited start the new year with an expanded studio opening on January 2, 2019. Thanks to the fast funding she received from Biz2Credit she can continue to live her motto: "Get out of your comfort zone. Get in the HIIT BOX."
Have you dreamed of owning your own gym, but you're not sure how much it would cost to start one? Check out this helpful guide from Biz2Credit that explains how much it costs to start a gym.
"Biz2Credit saved the day and 48 hours later, I had the keys to my new fitness studio in my hand," said Zadeh. "I don't know how Joe did what he did for me, but I'm thankful for his help. He even got me an easy repayment schedule."
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